Melaka is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that we thought was well worth the visit. It’s one of the historical cities of the Straits of Malacca along with Georgetown on the island of Penang. It was an easy 3 hour bus ride from Kuala Lumpur and we decided to spend a couple of days exploring.
On our first evening we ventured to the Jonker Walk Night Market. We were told not to miss out on trying some Nyonya dishes and this market was a good place to try a few different things. We tried Nyonya Dumplings which consisted of sticky rice filled with bbq pork then shaped into a triangle and wrapped up tight in a banana leaf – they were really good.
Famous in this area is a sweet treat called Dodol which kind of looked odd, almost like jello, but it tasted like a sticky toffee candy – we loved it.
One of my favourite foods in Melaka was Popiah, it’s a fresh spring roll filled with bean sprouts, lettuce, turnips, peanuts, and some kind of super delicious special sauce – I really loved these.
We had to try Cendol (gummy candies made from pandan leaves and tapioca flour to put into a dessert). It consisted of shaved ice with coconut milk, sometimes ice cream, green pieces of cendol, and other toppings that you can choose and have added to your dish – we thought it was okay but it wasn’t the best dessert we’ve had.
The next day we visited some of the historic sights. We stopped at Porta de Santiago which was a Portugese Fort built in 1511. We visited Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, the Sultanate Palace, and we took a ride up a revolving tower offering great views of the city.
In the afternoon we took a river cruise and we went by many traditional Kampung (villages) and I really loved all the murals on the buildings and the little foot bridges that cross the river. It was a really relaxing way to spend the afternoon and see the sights.
We visited the Dutch Square and decided to partake in a rickshaw ride since there were so many waiting for customers and just raring to go. Almost all of them were decked out with ‘Hello Kitty’ type décor. Gordon let me pick and so I had to take the one with the butterfly roof!
We had a good 3 days in Melaka and really enjoyed trying the different Nyonya foods and had a lot of fun walking the historic district.
A little story about the hotel we stayed at and something you don’t see every day, thankfully!
When we checked in (which was in the evening) they gave us a room that wasn’t even made up yet, we opened the door and the bed pillows were on the floor, the bed was unmade, so we turned around and went back to reception to get a different room. We were then given a family room which was huge and was nice for us but the cleanliness left a lot to be desired. The next day we came back in the afternoon to freshen up and found the cleaning staff sitting in the hallway playing on their cell phones with one of the guestroom doors wide open (I hope the guests had checked out). Our room had not been cleaned or made up while we were gone and at that point I preferred that they stay out, so I went out to the hallway to ask them for some fresh towels etc. and found them all in the open guestroom, laying against the wall on the bed pillows, laughing, and playing on their cell phones (I guess when we caught them in the hall they thought they better move into the room so no one else would see them fooling around). After I went back to my room, I could hear them next door, just fooling around, making a bunch of noise, and they were in there for a long time! This is probably why rooms don’t get cleaned properly!
Where we stayed: Hotel Bendahara